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Malta with the least physically active people: 'Urgent action needed'

Alternattiva Demokratika Żgħażagħ calls for urgent action as it expresses ‘shock’ at Malta’s high rate of physically inactive citizens

Staff Reporter
19 December 2015, 11:41am
Alternattiva Demokratika Żgħażagħ - Green Youth has expressed “shock” over yet another confirmation that Malta is the country with the least physically active people in the world.

It is not a surprise that Maltese people are amongst the most obese people in the EU.

“ADŻ is concerned that so little has been done in order to tackle these issues. ADŻ calls for urgent action in order to tackle the root of the problem.”

ADŻ chairperson Marc’ Andrea Cassar said there has been little investment in public sports facilities. Open air gyms are few and far between and they are inexistent in many of the urban areas.

“There are also very few green spaces in our localities, and most roads are not exactly welcoming of pedestrians”.

Cassar expressed his concern over the high consumption of unhealthy food: “Most Maltese people consume large amount of unhealthy food, which leads to obesity and poor health. There should also be increased education not only about eating healthy, but also on the healthy food that is cheap, quick and easy to prepare.”

ADŻ spokesperson James Gabarretta emphasised the lack of measures regarding cycling. He said that: “In many cases drivers are a danger to cyclists as a result of reckless driving. Greater fines and consistent enforcement should be introduced in order to make cycling safer and thus more attractive."

Gabaretta said that the take-up of cycling can increase if specific measures to encourage it are put in place. Such measures include the installation of showers for people who cycle to work, through a cycle-to-work scheme, and the setting up of cycling clubs in order to encourage beginners.”

“Pedelecs are ideal for most people's commuting needs. The use of bicycles and pedelecs should be heavily incentivised, by means of introducing subsidies on the purchase of pedelecs - the return on this public investment - a fraction of the hundreds of millions spent on new roads, which just postpone congestion and add to pollution and related health problems”.